Positive thinking is a term that is used frequently these days, especially by those in the various fields of healing. It turns out that the idea of positive thinking is actually a very powerful tool for healing and for improving the quality of life in every way, and that fact has permeated the awareness of doctors all over the world. From cancer to mental health, the field of conventional medicine now takes into account the power of positive thinking. Alternative medicine and energy medicine have deep roots in this idea, as well.
If you are a television watcher, you know that negative messages constantly remind us how very frightening and violent the world is. Poverty, hunger, and pain seem to pervade the universe. Imagine this possibility: Within your own small universe, everything is fine! Yes, perhaps the world is a mess, but in the silent zone of your consciousness, you are fine. In that deepest sector of who you are, you have no insecurities or fears, but only joy and peace. Sounds unlikely?
There is a strong link between the negative conclusions you made about yourself as a child, and the problems you now experience with your confidence. Again, you do not need to recall the events that created negative thoughts about yourself. You just need to remember that you can replace that negativity with your affirmations, and doing so in a meditative state only increases your power.
If you feed the negative, your life will reflect more of the same problems and issues. If you replace the negative by feeding the positive, through affirmations, your life will begin to reflect that. Positive thinking has everything to do with confidence.
Meditation: Meditation can be a very powerful force for people who are working on confidence building. We encourage you to take up meditation as a life practice because it enhances every aspect of life and is particularly powerful when we are trying to make changes. The exercise here is a start. If meditation appeals to you, there are hundreds of books, seminars, workshops, videos, and other materials available to help you make mediation a way of life.
There are many paths to emotional freedom. What we strive for when we are working on building confidence is the freedom to be exactly who we are, to know who we are, and to be happy and comfortable with that. There are other ways in which we have blocked our growth that can be overcome.
Forgiveness: Now studied at the clinical level in energy medicine, forgiveness, or lack thereof, is a huge element that affects our well-being and confidence. Having an inability or unwillingness to forgive others is a large, black package that we carry in our psyches. Entire courses have been developed to help people forgive as a path to mental and physical health. Why is forgiveness such a primary issue?
In many instances, people truly have been violated and victimized through absolutely no fault of their own. Finding it in your heart to forgive someone who has inflicted severe damage upon us or upon a friend or family member is a tall order. We often hang onto our grudges simply because our hatred and anger glues the grudges to us, and they become a fixed part of our personalities. However, we can let them go.
Anger, resentment, bitterness, and animosity are all exceedingly negative forces. Negativity embedded in our consciousness affects our confidence and, in turn, affects the experiences and events in our lives.
Forgiveness can start small. If you hold a grudge against someone at work, for instance, start with that. Develop an affirmation such as, "I now release any negativity and anger toward Joe. I honor him as an equal and fully accept him as he is." Visualize what it would be like to have these feelings cleared. Meditate with your affirmation. Watch what happens with Joe.
Forgiveness squared: Perhaps the most daunting act of forgiveness is when we decide to forgive ourselves. We all make mistakes, act out of anger or fear, and do things of which we are ultimately not proud. Perhaps the largest black package we can carry in our psyches is that of self-loathing, guilt, and self-blame. How in the world can we dissolve this negativity?
Affirmations, meditation, and self-reflection will help tremendously. There are various forms of energy medicine, including meridian tapping and mirror gazing, that actually will dispel this darkness. However, for a moment, consider this:
Every single thing in your entire life that you have done, thought, felt, and experienced, negative and positive, has woven an intricate tapestry that is your life, and every thread in that fabric has led you to where you are at this exact moment.
If you have decided to work on your confidence through this article, consider that you might not be taking this step if even one of those threads were missing. If you can view your past experiences, even the negative ones, as part of the woven process of life and learning, you will more easily be able to forgive others and yourself. In other words, everything contributes to what we have come here to learn.
FOUNDATIONS OF CONFIDENCE
Love: The most important lesson involves the truest and deepest roots of self-confidence. If self-confidence were to be distilled into specific characteristics, the dominant traits would be compassion and love. Love shows itself in many forms, such as helping, teaching, giving, green-living, charity, humility, and faith. However, the foundation of love and compassion can only be the love we hold for ourselves.
The idea that self-love calls for forgiveness of all past mistakes, for that is all they are, frees us from judging ourselves based on failures. Self-love does not depend upon your successes or failures. It relies on the inner-knowledge that you are on a path to learn and overcome your shortcomings, and you are doing just that. We all are presented with the exact appropriate challenges that will help us overcome the weak areas in our lives. There is no blame, unless you feed it.
Gratitude: The first step toward loving yourself is gratitude for even the smallest things in life. You may need to start small if you are at the end of your rope in some respect, but consider all the gifts of life, such as family, our five senses, and our ability to create. The abundance of life is present even for the most unfortunate person. Love every part of yourself, everything about yourself. Love your flaws and know that you can heal them. Love your mistakes and know that they are all part of your life lessons. Love the earth that gives us life. Love others, to whom we are all totally connected energetically. For each of these, you can create an affirmation to begin the process of gratitude. It is a lasting and rich way to live, and you never will regret the time you spend on learning gratitude and self-love.
A commonly cited example is the practice of forcing a smile. This is a well-studied phenomenon: If you make yourself smile, eventually you begin to feel better. In the case of self-confidence, a critical step in the right direction is finding a way to be of help to someone else. Whether you volunteer at a nursing home, help a disadvantaged child, give some time to the animal shelter, or mow your grandmother's lawn, giving is the most potent booster of self-esteem. If you already are a nurse or teacher, you may feel you are giving all day. However, giving without any strings attached, without the need to tell anyone or receive compensation, is true giving.
Integrity: There are many levels of integrity, the first one involving being true to oneself and acting in accordance with what we know is right and true. Integrity in our dealings with the world also has a major effect on self-confidence. Each time we do something inconsiderate, dishonest, demeaning, hurtful, or otherwise out of balance with our beliefs, the act sticks to us in the form of subconscious negativity. All negativity erodes self-confidence. Monitor your day occasionally, and give your integrity a checkup.
Consideration: Every single person either has fears and confidence failures, has had them in the past, or will in the future. When you realize that we are all the same at some level, it is easier to allow a sense of ease and openness when dealing with other people. Knowing that others suffer from the same worries and fears and always treating them with consideration will do wonders for self-esteem. If we try to treat others with interest, respect, and deference when possible, it does not create vulnerability in ourselves but strengthens our character.
Beauty: Music, dance, singing, flowers, birds, trees, water in all forms, animals, and clouds all make an endless list of beautiful things. If you do not see the astonishing beauty in the world, it is time to step outside of yourself and go to an opera or art gallery, sit with Mother Nature, study a flower, smell the ocean air, or sing a song; in other words, study beauty. It is everywhere. It will lift up your soul. You will eventually notice your own beauty and that of others.
Study these character traits and others that you want as part of your personality. Step over the trepidation and intimidations, be what you want yourself to be, and watch your confidence grow.